You have to decide up front if you want to be right in the middle of the "action," namely the downtown tourist zone, or not. If you are a short-term tourist and that's important to you, this hotel is not your best choice. There aren't any interesting shops or restaurants within walking distance here. That's not really a drawback if you plan ahead, but is something you need to know. You can't pop out at eight o'clock on the spur of the moment for a snack.
I stayed here two nights and liked it very much. Good facilities and helpful, friendly staff. It was not difficult to navigate the metro to go into the tourist zone for sightseeing or to Times Square for supper in the evening. Efficient and inexpensive (2 Yuan to Times Square; 3 Yuan to Lin Dun Lu.) You can take a short (10 to 15 Yuan) taxi ride from that latter stop to reach the major gardens and the museum.
One day I rode two different city busses from nearby stops just to see what else might be nearby. But they wound through the industrial park for a long way without reaching any shopping centers or malls. This industrial zone is huge. It's possible that a better choice of busses would take you someplace useful; my experiment was not carefully planned. I decided it was easier to stick with the metro.
Had trouble with the air conditioner on day one, but the maintenance man came promptly and fixed it. Excellent breakfast, included in the rate. Easy to use internet. I would definitely stay here again. Feels like home, only better.
Metro signs are Chinese plus English, but the Chinese writing is larger and more prominent. In case you want to try to figure it out, this might help a little.
1. Chinese name of the metro stop across from the hotel is 星湖街站。It serves line one, and that's the only line you are likely to need.
2. The Times Square stop is 时代广场。It is only one stop away from the hotel. Take the metro in towards 木渎。
3. The Lin Dun Lu stop is 临顿路站。It's also in the 木渎 direction.
If you use the Suzhou bus system, stops that are (fairly) near a metro entrance are marked with a red symbol above the name of the stop. With a little effort and some knowledge of Chinese, you can combine to two modes of public transportation and greatly minimize reliance on taxis.
One reason for mastering the metro is that this hotel is difficult for taxi drivers to find. They can do it eventually if you have the hotel name card or a map, but it may take several attempts. Suggest also carrying the hotel's phone number, so that if the driver gets really perplexed he can call the desk for detailed instructions.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located along the shores of Jinji Lake, you’re right in the core of the Suzhou Industrial Park, neighbouring Harmony Times Square, and the Suzhou International Expo Center, Suzhou Science and Cultural Arts Center and a score of other industrial centres. Getting around is a breeze, with the nearest Subway Station within walking distance. The Shanghai-Nanjing Intercity Rail SIP Station, which offers easy access to the rest of the region, is just a 10-minute drive away, with convenient access to leisure and business facilities. ... more less
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